With so many factors involved in the hiring process, it’s easy to miss important steps or neglect asking an illuminating question during an interview. The outcome of these seemingly simple mistakes can be costly however, especially if the hire turns out not to be a fit and you have to start the process over again.
Fortunately, most hiring processes don’t need a complete overhaul. To find out more, we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council to share some simple, straightforward ways to make the hiring process more effective. Here’s what they recommend.
These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. Create a detailed job description.
“Before posting your job, it’s important to understand your specific needs for the position and the kind of person who will fit in your company’s culture. Based on that, develop a detailed job description. This ensures you will get applicants that are a better fit, and reduces wasted time for you and job candidates.” – Vladimir Gendelman, Company Folders Inc.
2. Check references first.
“Prior to interviewing a candidate, phone the references first. Referrals can point directly to flaws or misrepresentation of skills. Additionally, they can offer insight into how a candidate works in certain situations from resolving conflict to giving compliments to team members. This helps you organize a hire within your teams and introduce them in a context that they are comfortable with.” – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
3. Ask for work samples.
“To see how applicants apply their skills, ask for work samples (as long as their deliverables are not confidential). This can be done across all job functions. For customer service, ask them to share sample scripts. For developers, have them show previous code they’ve produced. This gives you insight into how they operate so you can see if their skill set will translate well with your job opening.” – Firas Kittaneh, Zoma Mattress
4. Have the candidate ‘role play.’
“Candidates can seem perfect on paper or wow you in an interview, and then be real disasters once hired if you don’t test them on the activities they will be expected to do on a daily basis when hired. Choosing a social media manager? Ask them to create a new campaign and explain the metrics used to track its success. Picking a salesperson? Ask them to call customers and show you their stuff.” – Vanessa Nornberg, Metal Mafia
5. Seek out your next strategic addition before you need them.
“Hiring should be intentional and slow by design. Don’t wait to hire until you have a gap that needs to be filled immediately. Strategically identify the next addition to the team that would make the most impact on your business. Build the ideal persona, start the recruitment process, and interview in different settings, depth and levels. Filter with said persona and be clear with expectations.” – Devesh Dwivedi, Idea2Inception
6. Use premium job boards.
“Premium job boards are a great way to streamline your hiring process. Many companies use popular free job boards, and this leads to some problems when it comes time to sift through applicants. With premium boards, you can often be confident that the people applying for your job will be more professional and skilled when compared to free hiring platforms.” – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
7. Include others in the interview process.
“Have existing team members ask questions during the interview process. Involving them provides you with more insights and perspectives to ensure that you are hiring the best candidates. This also helps determine team chemistry with your existing employees.”– Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
8. Create a private company website for onboarding.
“We have a private company website where we keep training material, resources and job information. I think that this site helped us streamline the process by making it easy for new employees to get oriented with our company values, goals, and expectations all in one place.”– John Turner, SeedProd LLC
9. Conduct video interviews.
“I use a product called Ducknowl, which allows me to send preset questions to all the shortlisted candidates and has everyone submit a video response. I get to see recorded video responses from each candidate, which helps me to see their soft skills, personality and level of interest in the job. It saves me a lot of time and avoids a bad hire.” – Piyush Jain, SIMpalm
10. Personalize your interactions.
“It’s important to personalize your communication with potential candidates as much as possible. Doing so can build a positive image of your business and will make the best candidates more willing to work with you. It leads to better communication, which will help you uncover the candidate’s needs and whether they’re a good fit with your organization.” – Blair Williams, MemberPress
11. Get feedback after the interview.
“It’s really important to measure how well your hiring process is going, which is why you should ask for feedback after an interview. You could send a survey form and ask candidates about their experience. This feedback can help you improve your hiring process and see the whole process from the candidate’s viewpoint.” – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
12. Hire based on core values.
“Setting your company’s core values is an extremely important exercise for any organization to do. Once completed, you’ll have a framework to base your hires on, and you can gauge potential new hires on an even playing field. This helps alleviate the guessing of the new hire being the right fit for your organization and gives you a document to rely on to utilize across the board.” – Joel Mathew, Fortress Consulting
13. Let prospects meet their team.
“Have potential hires meet the team they would be on before any commitments are made. It is possible that someone interviews well and has great experience, but if they don’t collaborate and mesh well with their team, it will be a struggle. Host lunch during their interview or have a portion of the interview include members of their prospective team to gauge their level of compatibility.” – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.
14. Give them a paid test project.
“Sometimes it’s good to test potential hires, and a great way to go about doing that is to provide them with a paid test on the specific tasks you would need them to do. It’s also a good thing to do when selecting a new freelancer. Just make sure you compensate them fairly for their time.” – Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting Inc.
15. Include a question to weed out applicants who aren’t detail-oriented.
“When hiring, I want someone that I know is going to pay attention to detail. To rid myself of people that likely won’t meet that qualification, I put a test in my hiring post. Three-quarters of the way down I will ask a very simple question to be answered in their response. Those applicants who do not address this were clearly not paying attention to the details and get dismissed.” – Rana Gujral, Behavioral Signals
16. Outline your value to the job candidate.
“Think through the process from a candidate’s perspective, especially when seeking top-tier talent. What can this company offer me? Why do I want to work here? Rather than creating a list of requirements, outline your value as a company to potential applicants: flexible hours, career advancement, shared mission, etc. This will not only attract more applicants to your posts, but also better ones.” – Jordan Conrad, Writing Explained
17. Manage your preconceptions.
“We all have biases around what makes a great employee. Our preconceptions can blind us to outstanding candidates that might not fit our mental model. There are several techniques for reducing bias. Blind resume selection is effective. It helps to ensure that bias doesn’t knock people out at the early stages. Collaborative hiring can also help – get your team involved in hiring decisions.” – Chris Madden, Matchnode